Pilates with Physical Therapy

Pilates is a physical fitness system that is the basis of what I use at Songbird Physical Therapy to work on flexibility, muscular endurance and core strengthening.

Advantages of Doing Pilates with a Physical Therapist

When dealing with injury or post surgical rehabilitation, physical therapists are trained to look at the body with a different eye to prevent injury and promote flexibility where it’s needed. Depending on your injury and diagnosis, certain movements may be contraindicated and can exacerbate symptoms or cause further injury. When dealing with issues of pain, post surgery, osteoporosis, inflammatory conditions, etc., Pilates can be a great tool for rehabilitation if done carefully and with the knowledge and intuition of an experienced PT.

Benefits of Pilates

Work with Pilates has been repeatedly shown to improve posture, strengthen the deep core muscles while flattening abdominals, and increase energy and flexibility. Pilates is adaptable to all levels of fitness and ages, and can be used for different purposes depending on the client's needs.

Rehabilitation with Pilates

Pilates has been demonstrated to show significant improvements in one's posture, flexibility, and core strength. With regular Pilates sessions, there can be obvious benefits such as changes in your physical appearance and reduction of chronic pain. Studies have also shown that regular Pilates sessions over long periods of time can help increase bone density.

History of Pilates

The Pilates exercise is named after Joseph Pilates who created a unique and specific method of fitness in the early 1920’s to help rehabilitate injured soldiers during WWI. To help strengthen the bed bound soldiers, he attached springs to the bed posts and the base of the bed to assist movement and strengthening from a lying down position. He later designed specialized pieces of equipment that we continue to use today that not only assist with movement, but strengthen muscles in a unique and challenging way.

When Joseph Pilates came to NYC in 1926, he opened his studio on Eighth Ave and 56th Street in Manhattan. Most of his clientele were athletes and dancers including notable ballerinas such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham. They became devotees and sent their ballerinas to Joseph’s studio to rehab from dance injuries. The studio slowly gained much popularity among the elite socialites and the performing arts community.

Over the years, the Pilates method became a specialized and desired mode of fitness and started to gain popularity in NY and California. Pilates' students learned his techniques and went on to open studios of their own across the country. Today, Pilates equipment and classes have gained much popularity in the mainstream fitness world. Pilates classes are taught as mat classes on the floor or on Pilates equipment which is modeled after Joseph Pilate’s original equipment that he used in his NYC studio. Physical Therapists are starting to use Pilates equipment because it is an optimal fit for core strengthening, posture and rehabilitation.